The first free recycling program for household blister pack waste has been launched in the Bundaberg Region with eight public drop-off points located within local pharmacies.
The new program is a collaboration between medication brand Chemists' Own and innovative company TerraCycle and aims to address the problem of blister pack waste, which isn’t kerbside recyclable.
The first-in-market program is inviting residents to visit participating stores to drop off all over-the-counter blister packs to be completely recycled.
Cardboard outer packaging can continue to be placed in kerbside recycling.
Coral Coast Pharmacies Plaza Pharmacy on Maryborough Street is taking part in the initiative with the team excited to see the community get on board.
“We want to try and reduce the amount of waste that goes into the environment and recycling the blister packs is a great way to do this,” pharmacist Gemma Potter said.
“This is a brand new initiative so we are really looking forward to seeing our customers get involved in helping us to reduce waste all while being environmentally friendly.”
Landmark step in recycling
Daniela Priekopa, General Manager Marketing at Chemists’ Own, said the trial represented a landmark step in the pharmaceutical industry’s response to waste.
“As one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in Australia, we are thrilled to be able to provide the first-ever free recycling program for blister pack waste in Australia in partnership with Pharmacy Alliance,” she said.
“For over 25 years, Chemists’ Own has been dedicated to the health and wellbeing of Australians, and we want to extend this care to protecting the environment.
“We have no doubt that this trial will be a tremendous success and hope it inspires others in the wider pharmaceutical industry to take action for the environment.”
Jean Bailliard, General Manager of TerraCycle Australia, said through the program blister packs that were otherwise destined for landfill would be recycled.
“Blister packs are made of various plastics, foils, and paper foils, which means they can’t be recycled in your kerbside bin,” she said.
“Every year, this amounts to an enormous amount of plastic waste which goes into landfill, where it takes hundreds of years to break down.
“The collected blister packs are shredded, washed and sorted. Washing will remove any paper and residual foil, while float sink (a type of mechanical sortation) will sort the plastic types by density.
“The aluminum will be melted down and returned to its original form. Once the plastic is dried, it will be processed into thermoformed packaging.”
The eight local public drop-off points for blister pack recycling are:
- Childers Community Pharmacy Shop 2, 111 Churchill St Childers
- Burrum Street Pharmacy 47 – 49 Burrum St Bundaberg
- Carlyle Gardens Chemist Shop 3, 102 Woongarra Scenic Dr
- Crofton Street Pharmacy 26 Crofton St Bundaberg
- Eastside Pharmacy Shop 9, Millaquin Markets, 135 Bargara Rd
- Pharmacy Central Bargara Shop 5-6a, Bargara Central Shopping Centre
699 Bargara Rd Bargara
- Coral Coast Pharmacies Plaza Pharmacy Bundaberg 4/19 Maryborough St Bundaberg
- Gin Gin Pharmacy 48 Mulgrave St Gin Gin
Find out more here.